April 11, 2023
Prickly Pear Cactus
Hey Plant Friends!
This week we are talking about Opuntia ‘Thornton Blue’. Opuntia are commonly known as Prickly Pear Cactus and belong to the Cactaceae family. Opuntia have the largest range of any cactus variety in the United States and can be found from New Mexico to Montana and East to Florida and Massachusetts. The variety Thornton Blue is known for its large, striking, blue paddles. Cactus are great for busy humans because they require minimal care and maintenance.
Let’s talk about care. Set yourself up for success by placing your cactus in bright light. South facing windows are best for Opuntia. If you are inclined to put your plant outside for the summer, make sure to acclimate your plant to full sun before exposing it to the intense rays of the summer. Opuntia need a nice, gritty cactus mix when planting. We highly recommend the Sol Soils Cactus Mix. This soil has great drainage making it the perfect match for cactus and succulents. Opuntia do not like to sit in damp soil as this will lead to root rot. Let your Cactus dry out completely between watering. In the winter, cut back on watering even more because growth is very slow. Water your cactus well during active growth to help them grow nice and tall! Cacti do sometimes battle pests like mealy bugs, scale, fungus gnats, and spider mites. Check your plant each time you water to catch these pesky bugs before they take over. Keep a bottle of Eight Houseplant Insect Spray handy for easy treatment. Fertilizer during active growth with Cactus Fertilizer to encourage blooms.